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Govt-funded homes for intellectually disabled must be safe

24 May 2013

Govt-funded homes for intellectually disabled must be safe

The Ministry of Health needs to urgently review its processes for monitoring government-funded residential services for people with disabilities after fresh revelations of abuse, Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.

New allegations in the media of widespread abuse, perpetrated at government-funded residential services for people with disabilities in the North Island, have been made after the Ministry of Health began a review of its policies following abuse claims at the Parklands residential care facility.

“The Ministry of Health must double check why their standard quality assurance processes appear to have missed a number of cases of appalling abuse,” said Mr Hague.

“It is good that the Minister of Health, after initially refusing, is now reviewing the Ministry of Health's handling of historic abuse complaints about residential provider Parklands.

“If the Ministry of Health’s systems failed to pick up gaping holes at Parklands, then the public can have no confidence that similar problems don't exist elsewhere.

“This latest revelation of abuse at another government-funded residential service for people with disabilities sadly proves this to be the case.

“People with intellectual disabilities are among the most vulnerable members of our society.

“It is essential therefore that the processes for monitoring the care of those with intellectual disabilities are robust.

“The Minister of Health Tony Ryall also needs to understand that he has a special duty of care.

“During the Family Carers Bill debate, he made an argument that families have the primary responsibility for meeting the needs of disabled people.

“This is despite the fact his Government legislated in order that these same families will not be paid in future for providing this care.

“If the Government refuses to support families doing this tough and demanding work then they must at least make certain that those people with intellectual disabilities in government-funded care are safe from abuse and treated with respect,” Mr Hague said.

ends

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